June 2016 Maryland Certiorari Grants

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here, but the Court of Appeals of Maryland is still hard at work, cranking out another batch of certiorari grants. Does heading out into the stifling, stuffy heat make you feel like you’re suffocating? Well, have hope: The Court is going to figure something out about toxic air pollutants in commercial parks. Also in the slate: questions about voir dire, searching for records subject to the Public Information Act, and the writ of actual innocence. See the full lineup after the jump.

Granted June 23, 2016

Collins, Ruben Arnez v. State of Maryland – Case No. 24, September Term, 2016

Issue – Criminal Law –Did the trial court’s method of conducting voir dire fail to reasonably ensure that the court received truthful and accurate responses to its questions, thus constituting an abuse of discretion and violating Petitioner’s right to a fair and impartial jury?

Glass v. Anne Arundel Co. – Case No. 20, September Term, 2016

Issues – State Government – 1) Are the trial courts precluded from making any finding that material sought by a person about himself may be severed from an internal affairs file pertaining to a specific, identified law enforcement officer under the Public Information Act? 2) Does the custodian of records for a governmental unit have any responsibility under the Public Information Act to disclose computerized records created and used in the work of the unit, but stored outside the unit, when the governmental unit has the right and practical ability to retrieve the records on demand? 3) Having determined that the custodians knowingly and willfully failed to conduct a legally adequate search in locations where responsive material is likely to be found, was it error for the trial court to decline to order a remedial search in those locations?

Hughes v. Moyer, Secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services – Case No. 21, September Term, 2016

Issues – State Personnel & Pensions – 1) Did the trial court err in failing to consider the notice requirements imposed on the State by Md. Code. Ann, State Pers. & Pens. § 11-106(a)(5)? 2) Did the trial court err in failing to consider the minimum level of due process due to Petitioner prior to the State’s deprivation of a property right?

Kor-Ko, Ltd. & Rothamel v. Dept. of the Environment – Case No. 23, September Term, 2016

Issues – Environmental Law – 1) Did Maryland Department of the Environment (“MDE”) err by interpreting the definition of “premises” in COMAR § 26.11.15.06 to include the entire commercial park rather than one tenant in the multi-tenant commercial park? 2) Did MDE err by concluding that its “air toxics regulations do not apply” anywhere within the entire commercial park? 3) Did MDE err by not evaluating whether emissions of toxic air pollutants will unreasonably endanger the health of the neighboring tenant in the commercial park?

Smallwood, Dameron v. State of Maryland – Case No. 22, September Term, 2016

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Where a psychiatrist initially determined that Petitioner was criminally responsible for acts leading to criminal charges and that opinion led Petitioner to withdraw a plea of not criminally responsible (“NCR”) and proceed to trial on an agreed statement of facts and where, approximately 25 years later, the same psychiatrist concluded that Petitioner was in fact NCR at the time he committed the acts leading to the criminal charges, is the psychiatrist’s revised opinion about criminal responsibility newly discovered evidence that creates a substantial or significant possibility that the result may have been different such that Petitioner is entitled to relief under Criminal Procedure Article § 8-301? 2) Does § 8-301, which governs petitions for writs of actual innocence, contemplate relief for an individual who was convicted of a crime but who later presents newly discovered evidence that he was not criminally responsible at the time of the crime? 3) May a person who was convicted after a trial on an agreed statement of facts obtain relief under § 8-301? 4) Does an expert’s opinion that Petitioner was NCR, offered many years after the same expert opined that the petitioner was criminally responsible constitute “newly discovered evidence” under § 8-301? 5) Does the revised expert opinion that Petitioner was not criminally responsible at the time of the crime create a substantial or significant possibility that the result in this case may have been different?

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